Indiana passes right-to-work law and is now open for business – and jobs

Central United States
Central United States



Indiana is poised to become the first right-to-work state in more than a decade after the Republican-controlled House passed legislation on Wednesday banning unions from collecting mandatory fees from workers.

It is yet another blow to organized labor in the heavily unionized Midwest, which is home to many of the country’s manufacturing jobs. Wisconsin last year stripped unions of collective bargaining rights.

The vote came after weeks of protest by minority Democrats who tried various tactics to stop the bill. They refused to show up to debate despite the threat of fines that totaled $1,000 per day and introduced dozens of amendments aimed at delaying a vote. But conceding their tactics could not last forever because they were outnumbered, they finally agreed to allow the vote to take place.

The House voted 54-44 Wednesday to make Indiana the nation’s 23rd right-to-work state. The measure is expected to face little opposition in Indiana’s Republican-controlled Senate and could reach Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels’ desk shortly before the Feb. 5 Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

“This announces especially in the Rust Belt, that we are open for business here,” Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said of the right-to-work proposal that would ban unions from collecting mandatory representation fees from workers.

Republicans recently attempted similar anti-union measures in other Rust-Belt states like Wisconsin and Ohio where they have faced massive backlash. Ohio voters overturned Gov. John Kasich’s labor measures last November and union activists delivered roughly 1 million petitions last week in an effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Indiana would mark the first win in 10 years for national right-to-work advocates who have pushed unsuccessfully for the measure in other states following a Republican sweep of statehouses in 2010. But few right-work states boast Indiana’s union clout, borne of a long manufacturing legacy.

Every time one state enacts a right-to-work law, it puts competitive pressure on other states. The reason why is because businesses are attracted to right-to-work states, and they will prefer to expand there, rather than in union-friendly states. In fact, some companies will just up and move to right-to-work states, leaving the union-friendly states with no employers at all.

2 thoughts on “Indiana passes right-to-work law and is now open for business – and jobs”

    1. It means that you get to work in any job you want without being forced to join a union. I wanted to be a teacher, for example, but I can’t, because I don’t want to join a union. When you join a union, they take some of your salary and use it to push for nasty things like abortion and gay marriage, blech!


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